0.2 million hectares of forest lost in 15 years

With an estimated forest cover of 29.437m hectares in Papua New Guinea, 0.71 percent of forest was lost in the last 15 years, which is about 0.2m hectares of forest.

This was revealed in the draft Forest Reference Level (FRL) National Report, prepared by the Climate Change Development Authority (CCDA) and PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA).

FRL is one of four key elements to be produced by developing countries implementing REDD+ activities.

Developing countries like PNG, who are aiming to implement REDD+ activities, have to submit a FRL to the UNFCCC secretariat for its technical review.

Presently, a core team has been assigned from CCDA and PNGFA to develop a draft PNG’s FRL national report using the activity data from the collect earth system.

CCDA monitoring reviewing and verification manager, Alfred Rungol, revealed that about 5.9 percent of the primary untouched forest in PNG was disturbed by logging, between 2000-2015.

Rungol said the major driver of forest degradation is logging and the major driver of deforestation is shifting cultivation, compared to urbanisation and agriculture.

In the draft report, the forest lost, that was converted to cropland, included 28 percent used for oil palm plantations, 1 percent used for coconut plantations and 64 percent for shifting cultivation.

The RFL national report will be submitted to the UNFCCC in January of 2017 for its technical review.

Picture: Kuk Early Agricultural Site in Western Highlands Province, courtesy of www.landolia.com

Quintina Naime